Sony recently announced the theatrical release for Spider-Man: No Way Home – The More Fun Stuff Version. This extended version of No way home features multiple deleted scenes and hits theaters September 2. It is also a huge scam. In the ongoing battle between traditional cinema and streaming, something like an extended reissue feels like an artifact of a bygone era. If studios want to release behind-the-scenes content or deleted scenes for fans to enjoy, streaming platforms exist as a natural delivery vector for such content. Bonus content even helps justify the existence of streaming platforms, giving fans another reason to subscribe.
But releasing bonus content to Disney+ doesn’t make any money for Sony. It would also mean that they would have to send the film to Disney+, which the company has not done. No way home is available for digital purchase on platforms such as Prime Video, iTunes, and Google Play. However, it won’t be streamed until July 15, when it comes to Starz, a premium cable network. After an eighteen-month exclusive deal with Starz, it should head to Netflix, according to the company’s existing deal with Sony. If or when that deal ends, fans power be able to see it on Disney+ with the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Since fans can’t even watch the regular version of the film via streaming at the moment, an extended reissue is disappointing. Take, for example, the hypothetical case of a diehard Spider Man fan. They might have seen the movie in theaters even during an ongoing pandemic. After that, if they wanted to see the film again, they had to wait three months to buy it through a platform that they may or may not use much. And three months after that, they’re told they’ll have to pay again if they want to see the deleted scenes film again.
That’s all hypothetical, but it points to the length it takes to get the “complete” experience for it No way home† Companies are not obligated to provide a holistic experience to their customers, but the sheer amount of hoops required in the case of: No way home is hyperbolic and absurd. Sony should have released the film on a streaming platform after a reasonable amount of time. It didn’t have to be Disney+ because there’s an argument for taking it to Netflix with the rest of Tom Holland’s Spider Man trilogy. And then they should have released any deleted scenes or extra content on that same platform.
That is it. Simple, clear and to the point. Fans just need to look up which streaming service it is No way home On. If they really wanted the film for themselves, a physical or digital release through platforms like Prime Video also makes sense. In that case, Sony would even have a legitimate reason to withhold additional content, by encouraging fans to subscribe to their chosen platform or buy their own copy.
But something like an extended reissue is a blatant money grab. It’s okay to offer a premium or deluxe version of a product, but No way home does not exist in a vacuum. It’s part of the MCU, and Disney and Sony should have made sure they had their ducks lined up before making a deal to produce the movie. Fans shouldn’t have to navigate a tangled web of rights deals and cross-platform travel to watch a movie they love. And they certainly shouldn’t have to go to the cinema anymore to see it in its most complete form.